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The Personality Type That Makes the Best Parent

Personality quiz: Are you the kind of mom who avoids playdates, people you know at the store, co-op preschools of any kind? Then you're probably an introvert.

Or are you the kind of mom that loves to host playdates—the more the merrier? Do you love calling friends, teachers and other moms in the PTA? If so, likely, you're an extrovert.

We've long been told you fall into one of these two categories, but, lately, psychologists and TED talkers and magazine reporters are telling us about a third type, one that most of us fall into: ambiverts. We're both introverted and extroverted, sometimes one end of the spectrum dominating a little more than the other.

The Wall Street Journal looked into the whole ambivert thing and found that, actually, ambiverts are better at sales, better in offices and, the biggest endorsement of all, better parents. (Settle down, extroverts, we know this makes you want to stop everyone in the street and tell them it's wrong.)

So what's going on?

The simple explanation is that for introverts, downtime has to be "me time." For extroverts, downtime is best spent in a group of people. For ambiverts, if their downtime is spent with work colleagues and drinks, once they get home they need to top off with a walk around the neighborhood (sunglasses on, headphones covering ears).

The Wall Street Journal describes ambiverts as being able to move between being social or being solitary, speaking up or listening carefully with greater ease than either extroverts or introverts. "It is like they're bilingual," says Daniel Pink, a business book author and host of "Crowd Control," a TV series on human behavior, who has studied ambiversion. "They have a wider range of skills and can connect with a wider range of people in the same way someone who speaks English and Spanish can."

As for parenting, it comes down to emotional acuity for ambiverts, which gives them the advantage over their extroverted or introverted peers.

But it's not all balanced glory for these types. The struggle for ambiverts is knowing which side of their personalities to lead with. "That means they can sometimes get stuck—not realizing that they need to change their approach to feel more motivated," WSJ reported.

Image via Twenty20

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